Nothing is more concerning than discovering cracks in your foundation. Yet, before you start to feel overwhelmed and anxious, it’s essential to understand what those splits indicate and their potential origin. In some cases, they are harmless, while at other times, they could suggest serious underlying issues. By recognizing the source of these fractures quickly, you can prevent any further damage from occurring.
Vertical cracks typically arise due to normal house settlement, and tension and compression on the concrete are among the most commonly seen foundation fractures. They extend up and down any wall surface or column, even in freshly built homes that have only been standing for a few years. Luckily, these cracks usually do not pose a considerable structural concern.
Stair Step Cracks
Stair-step cracks are a common issue with block foundation walls, and they can impair the integrity of your basement. These types of fractures occur along mortar joints, and there are typically two underlying causes: either it is due to settlement or sinking in one area or moisture-related problems outside your foundation. Either way, these stair-step cracks must be adequately addressed for the health of your home’s structure.
Diagonal foundation cracks, similar to vertical ones, are not a cause for alarm regarding your home’s structural integrity. These fractures typically slant up to 30-degree angles and result from the concrete in your foundation wall settling or curing over time.
Horizontal cracks are often the most dangerous. This crack is usually caused by unbalanced soil or hydrostatic water pressure pushing against the wall. In some cases, these cracks may cause a slight bow inward with water leakage into your basement. Both poured, and block foundations can be susceptible to this problem; however, it’s more common below grade where the frost line is located due to its repeated freezing-thawing cycle over time which causes an unbalance on the foundation wall resulting in a cracked appearance.
If you notice any cracks in your foundation, it is important to call an expert to check it out. Even if you think it is not severe, it could cause problems in the long run. Give us a call at Concrete & Foundation Solutions, and we will make sure your foundation is in good shape.